Two animal rights campaigners are fighting to eradicate what they describe as 'cruel Bulgarian ritual slaughter' traditions.
Bulgarian Denitsa Ivanova and American Ashton Aiden have teamed up to launch a 'New Life' Food and Educational Cruelty Free Center' aiming to educate the public in a bid to save millions of animals.
According to the two advocates, 99 percent of over 3 million households in the East-European country stick to the tradition of ritually slaughtering at least one lamb or pig during major Christian (and non-Christian) holidays, as well as for various occasions including childbirths, Christenings, and business openings.
Ivanova and Aiden have now launched a crowdfunder to help them make the education center a reality.
Ivanova tells PBN about the cruel 'traditions': "One of the worst periods for animals is pre-Christmas time, when villages are filled with the screams of millions of pigs, fighting for their last breath.
"I will never forget sitting inside the house, hearing the desperate screams, while my father and grandfathers would catch the pig they have been breeding for a year, pull him out of his 'house', and forcefully tie him only to have him killed.
"I would then feel the smell of the burned skin, and a bit later my granny would bring me the cooked meat with a big smile. Even a meat-eater would find the whole thing extremely 'inhumane' and unbearable.
"This is a scene most Bulgarian children experience many times in their lifetime, and a tradition passed from generation to generation."
The 'New Life' center aims to have a 'direct, measurable impact', by using 'long-term strategy plans that are adapted to local culture' - in a bid to 'eradicate hundreds-of-years-old cruel traditions'.
Ivanova, who started building the idea six months ago said: "[I wanted] to do something significant for animals in my home country, where some barbaric traditions are still commonplace."
According to the campaign: "These ritual slaughters are indeed needless and can massively reduce animal deaths in this region of the world" - as well as entirely 'transform how entire generations are being raised'.
The center will address what the pair describes as the 'informational block' Bulgaria is now experiencing with a peaceful, civil, and education-driven approach directed toward young families and mothers - who are the main decision-makers regarding meat consumption.
The 'One-Of-A-Kind Vegan Hub' will be focusing on instilling change into the population through the provision of free lectures, seminars, workshops, printed materials, as well as an affordable vegan café and plant-based meal delivery service.
You can support the campaign here
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Diana is a London-based writer dedicated to bringing you the latest updates in ethical consumerism and plant-based nutrition. She is a recent media graduate with extensive journalistic experience, and writes in hopes of changing the narrative. You can follow Diana on Instagram and Twitter @dianalupica
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